August 24, 2014
Science of Young Brains has Put More Emphasis on Early Education
The Dallas Morning News

So what do scientists think they know about young brains? There’s a wide belief that more brain connections form in the first three years than will ever be connected again. The assumption is that stimulation at that young age sets a pattern.

Summer 2014
Childhood trauma: prevention and intervention strategies
National Council on Family Relations Family Focus on...Early Childhood
Machir, John (2014).  Childhood Trauma: Prevention & Intervention Strategies, NCFR REPORT, 59(2):F8-F10, Family Focus on Early Childhood Issue, National Council on Family Relations, Minneapolis, MN

Spring 2014
Certified Family Life Educators as home visitors: Making the case
National Council on Family Relations Network
Machir, John & Cassidy, Dawn (2014).  Certified Family Life Educators as Home Visitors: Making the Case, CFLE Network, 26(2):4-7, National Council on Family Relations, Minneapolis, MN.

June 1, 2014
Op-Ed Commentary: Why Children and Families Won
The Charleston Gazette

Hundreds of people sacrificed their time, talent, and resources to make this happen, as well as the legislative champions who continued to push for solutions, and the excellent journalists who told our story. That’s what’s fun about working with such a broad movement — you can’t even keep track of every single letter sent or action taken. - See more at:

Hundreds of people sacrificied their time, talent, and resources to make this happen, as well as the legislative champions who continued to push for solutions, and the excellent journalists who told our story. That's what's fun about working with such a broad movement - you can't even keep track of every single letter sent or action taken.

May 31, 2014
Jim McKay and Stephen Smith: Why children and families won

May 9, 2014
The Early Childhood Intervention That Can Make Even Congress Stop Fighting
National Journal

Researchers have confirmed that these programs boost child health, reduce abuse and neglect, boost participating families' economic well-being, and help children arrive better prepared for school.

May 9, 2014
Criminal Justice Officials Favor Restoring Child, Family Funding
Public News Service

"An ounce of prevention is worth many, many pounds of cure - and we're seeing it, day in and day out."

May 7, 2014
Some Vetoed Social Services Funds Restored
Charleston Gazette

"All these programs, goodness gracious, are operating on shoestrings, and you can't take away the string"

February 27, 2014
Funding Could Be Cut For Early Childhood Development

A group of early childhood advocates met at the capital Thursday afternoon. They said losing $980,000 could turn into millions of dollars lost.

February 27, 2014
State Budget Cuts Put $13 Million in Child, Family Money "At Risk" 
West Virginia Public News Service

Advocates for early-childhood and family-support program have delivered a symbolic $13 milliion check to West Virginia lawmakers - money they say could be lost if the state goes ahead with budget cuts.

February 26, 2014
Op-Ed Commentary: Restore Cuts to Family Education
The Charleston Gazette

In-Home Family Educators help parents understand their role as their child's first and most important teacher. They provide information and support in such areas as prenatal care, child health, child development, behavior and early learning and literacy.

February 25, 2014
Nick Kristof Parachutes Back Into Appalachia and the Results Aren’t Pretty
Center for Economic and Policy Research

One could easily get the impression ... that the early interventions he mentions—family planning, home visitation programs, free at-home help for new moms who want to breast-feed, ...and quality pre-K—are new ideas that have little to do with the “War on Poverty.” Nothing could be further from the truth.

February 1, 2014
Op-Ed Commentary: Tiny Budget Cuts Can Be Devastating
The Charleston Gazette

The proposed budget even slices 25 percent from early childhood home visiting programs, despite the fact that these have been proven to prevent child abuse, reduce the number of low-birth weight babies, and promote health and better educational outcomes.

November 9, 2013
Editorial: Caregivers Can Make a Difference
The Charleston Gazette

One of the best things ever tried and proven to help mitigate the effects of poverty, isolation and unprepared parents is home visitors.

October 30, 2013
Editorial: Thumbs up: Healthy Families initiative helps local at-risk families
Huntington Herald-Dispatch

Whether it’s a young single mother or other circumstances, too many parents are on their own and in great need of information, advice and support. One of the groups that helps provide that in our region is Mountain State Healthy Families, which provides free program services for new mothers.

September 23, 2013
Editorial: Teaching Parents Skills is Worthwhile Investment
Huntington Herald-Dispatch

States also should look at the most effective home visitation programs provided by social service agencies, and consider expanding those as well.

September 21, 2013
Editorial: On the Strength of Parents
The Charleston Gazette

The lesson from this report is the same thing I've learned over a career spent reporting on efforts to help children and families: Help parents, and you help kids...This documented knowledge of what makes a difference over a lifetime should lead state and local policy.

April 7, 2012
Editorial: Home Visitation Effort Can Help Prevent Child Abuse
Huntington Herald-Dispatch

A study done by the Pew Center for the States found that a good program of voluntary home visits to at-risk families can cut child abuse cases in half -- that means trained professionals meeting with families during pregnancies and the first three years of a child's life.

April 5, 2012
Home Visits: A Powerful Weapon Against Child Abuse
Time Magazine

Every new mother has so many questions: Is my baby growing well? Is she reaching her developmental milestones? Why does she cry so much and what can I do about it?